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Z Lager - The Fort Collins Brewery

Not Rated.
Z LagerZ Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

313 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 313
Reviews: 215
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 16.71%
Wants: 11
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Fort Collins Brewery visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Rauchbier |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Crosling on 12-06-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 313 | Reviews: 215 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Robyn

South Carolina

2.75/5  rDev -22.1%

07-23-2014 02:39:58 | More by Robyn
Photo of SonOfOdin


2.75/5  rDev -22.1%

05-18-2012 01:18:29 | More by SonOfOdin
Photo of RoBotGod


2.8/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A somewhat decent lager although I’m not a huge fan of the style. Has a good dark body and the malt is not to sweet. One of the better ones I’ve had from them. The smoked part is what gets me. I don’t know if they used extract or not? I has the overwhelming taste of Liquid Smoke™. I could see some people really digging this beer but once you’ve cooked with Liquid Smoke™, the taste never really goes away.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2006 02:57:50 | More by RoBotGod
Photo of rangerred


2.8/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear reddish copper with a half finger tan head that fades pretty quickly. Ok lacing on the sides of the glass.

Aroma moderate smoke, light coffee, caramel, and toasted malt. Not really any hops detectable.

The taste has a pleasing smoke mixed with a healthy dose of toasted malt. Kind of tastes like an amber with a little smoke added. Some toffee and caramel. A slight tartness on the tip of the tongue along with a moderate bitterness finishing slightly sticky. Mouthfeel terrible though being extremely thin and watery.

Overall, an ok rauchbier but far from the top in the style. I would drink it again, though, purely for the ease of accessibility and lack of rauchbiers on the market.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2012 00:12:52 | More by rangerred
Photo of Franz4


2.85/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- penny copper with a small head that faded quickly, just a bit of lacing, translucent, not hazy.

S- just a hint of smoke with some malt sweetness coming through as well.

T- pine resin with just a hint of smoke, a little caramel in the taste

M- light bodied, lightly carbonated, not much to it.

D- drinkable yes, as there's nothing particularly aversive, but there are better smoked beers out there, won't be seeking this out again.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2010 00:09:29 | More by Franz4
Photo of corby112


2.85/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark golden amber color with orange hues and a one finger white head that quickly settles into a thin lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

Toasted malt aroma that is only faintly smokey with hints of sweet malt and wintry spices. Very subtle smoke character with hints of charcoal, caramel and biscuit.

Medium bodied with a prominent spice character up front that takes away from what little smokiness is underneath. Hints of cinnamon and brown sugar along with faint bitter hops that are slowly countered by a sweet malt backbone. Very faint smokiness but it is completely overpowered by the other characteristics. Lots of sweet caramel along with some biscuit and toffee. As it warms the smokey elements become more evident but are still considerably weak.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2011 08:28:18 | More by corby112
Photo of BWH3


2.88/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Essentially this beer is a light brown ale with a weak head designed to be a vehicle for "smoked"flavor. If you are looking for a chance to drink "smoke," here it is. Otherwise the beer is essentially nothing remarkable. The only reason these numbers are so high is that it is not offensive in anyway. I bought this a mixed case and would not buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2008 14:13:19 | More by BWH3
Photo of kojevergas


2.88/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

33cl brown glass bottle with classic pressure cap served into an imperial pint glass in high altitude Denver, Colorado. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a four finger head of nice soft cream, good thickness, and good retention. Colour is a dark transparent copper.

Sm: Smoke, light bacon, and plain barley. No trace of amber hops anywhere, but then me nose is broken... Aroma is mild in strength.

T: Poorly handled artificialish smoke and out of control bacon dominate, with tinges of hopeless amber hops and a bit of cream ever-so-slight (but not subtle) on the finish. Talk about ruthless imbalance. That said, the flavour isn't bad. The build is actually decent.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Does it complement the flavour? Not really.

Dr: Very drinkable for a rauchbier, but then it really isn't one. It's quite affordable in any case, and while it won't please hardcore fans of the style, it would make an excellent introduction to the style for newcomers before plunging them into Schenkerla. It's certainly worth a spin, and I admire the brewery's boldness in trying to capture an American mainstream market with this.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2011 04:48:37 | More by kojevergas
Photo of Hokies

Rhode Island

2.9/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a nice amber/copper color with a thin white head that dissipates quickly.

S: The smoke dominates with a faint caramel smell. Not to much else going on.

T: Interestingly the smoke does not dominate the taste as the malts first come through with a light coffee taste. The smoke taste comes in next and is nice and light and a light hop spice finishes off the taste.

M: Moderate carbonation with a light mouthfeel.

D: Easy to drink, not my favorite style but a nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2008 03:30:28 | More by Hokies
Photo of rajendra82


2.9/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The burnt orange colored body was topped with a small head, and the overall presentation was typical amber lager. The aroma was malty and mellow with the smoke only evident with some deep breaths. The taste is where this beer fell apart for me. All I got was slightly smoky flavor and sweetened water like industrial malt taste. Not particularly interesting in the approach except the hint of smoke. Pretty thin in the mouth as well with a zap of carbonation like soda water. Not a very good imitation of the Bamberg classics.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2010 05:05:58 | More by rajendra82
Photo of MrDonQuixote


2.95/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap at Fort Collins Brewery:

A- Nice amber profile color tone, White head

S- Oak, slight espresso smell

T- Slight espresso bite, oak taste, but I don't think it is oak aged

M- Nice carbonation with a watery finish

O- Quite bland and meh.

Serving type: on-tap

08-14-2011 05:40:58 | More by MrDonQuixote
Photo of iemailjack


3/5  rDev -15%

01-08-2013 03:11:33 | More by iemailjack
Photo of IPAylor


3/5  rDev -15%

01-04-2012 20:07:23 | More by IPAylor
Photo of Rymish


3/5  rDev -15%

06-01-2012 15:43:29 | More by Rymish
Photo of cdizinno

South Carolina

3/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: poured into a tulip glass from a brown bottle with no best by date.

A: Pours a clear dark copper color, almost brown with an off-white head and minimal lacing.

S: Sweet malt and caramel. I didn't really smell any smokiness at first. After a couple of sips there is definitely a mild smoke scent.

T&M: Definitely taste some mild smokey flavor and heavy sweetness. Medium bodied with little to no carbonation. More like a bland brown ale.

After reading several other reviews I am beginning to believe I may have an old bottle. The beer is almost flat. It tastes good but the mouthfeel is almost not there.

D- I'm a big fan of smoked beers and this is another tasty one. Not my favorite, but an easy drinking one that I wouldn't mind having again. Would make an excellent tailgating/cookout beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2009 19:53:28 | More by cdizinno
Photo of marcpal

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz purchased as single bottle at Marketplace, EB and poured into oversize wine glass at byob.

A: Golden color, a bit hazy with a think off white head. Thick bubbles and some lacing.

S: Not as much woody smoke as hoped. More malty, lack of hops, and some more smoked strength as it warmed a bit.

T: A bit more smoke than in the aroma but not too impressive. Would prefer Stone version and this really cant compare to the true German makers of this fine style. More sugary and malty flavors than anything else, no hops.

M: Not too thick as again I had wanted from this but crisp nonetheless.

D: Didnt know abv but didnt pick up any alcohol warmth. I guess drinkable in that not too smoky but the food really overpowered any flavors in this beer which really shouldnt happen. Not a favorite. A true medicore beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2008 12:49:47 | More by marcpal
Photo of robbee

3/5  rDev -15%

08-06-2013 14:48:59 | More by robbee
Photo of WeezyBoPeep


3/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Pure, clear amber with a golden hue and a small, tan head.

S: Smokey malt, campfire smoke and caramel.

T: Smoked meaty flavor, ashy malt, tobacco resin, vanilla and molasses. Vague remnants of dark fruit: raisins, figs, prunes and black cherries. Surprisingly mellow and clean finish.

D: For me, just a taster. This ain't something I'd buy a sixer of.

Value: $8.99 a sixer at my joint. On sale. Good deal I guess if you like this style.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2010 21:36:06 | More by WeezyBoPeep
Photo of jonathaniler


3/5  rDev -15%

02-19-2013 01:45:29 | More by jonathaniler
Photo of Stwinchy


3/5  rDev -15%

12-11-2012 01:06:22 | More by Stwinchy
Photo of freshtojeff

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -15%

09-10-2012 18:23:54 | More by freshtojeff
Photo of jmdrpi


3/5  rDev -15%

11-22-2011 04:41:21 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of ejimhof


3/5  rDev -15%

06-29-2013 13:17:05 | More by ejimhof
Photo of pokesbeerdude


3/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From Notes

A: Rich brown color with an off white head about half an inch thick. Crystal clear, not much carbonation. Very interesting looking beer. 3.0

S: Reminds me of barbeque. Smoke is very present, a few malt characteristics pop out, but the smoke is what stands out the most. 3.5

T: Reminds me of barbeque again, not many "beer" flavors in this. The smoke dominates this entire beer it isn't too bad though. Very interesting, the tastes linger in my mouth for quite a while. This is a big beer, no doubt about it, but not something I would drink many of. 3.0

M: Pretty crisp and carbonated. Kinda sticky though. The tastes makes the mouth feel a little thicker than it is. 3.0

D: One is enough for me. Its just too smoky for my taste. It was interesting and would pair well with some ribs, but just not my style. 2.5

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2008 02:54:34 | More by pokesbeerdude
Photo of akttr


3/5  rDev -15%

07-22-2012 06:17:57 | More by akttr
Z Lager from The Fort Collins Brewery
80 out of 100 based on 313 ratings.